fiery fissure was made almost to the outA LETTER from Naples of the 21st instant, skirts of the city, through which the same gives a highly interesting account of the unseen power passed, opening the streets spectacle presented by Vesuviuson the 18th : and laying bare some parts of the former

buried town, and then running into the sea. “On Tuesday we had another eruption, All this is evident to the eye. You see the equal in magnificence to any I have yet wit- fissures in all directions, and walk daintily nessed. It was beginning when I despatched at times lest you fall in, or lest some rickety my last letter; as, however, the day wore building may come down. on it increased in power, and the same won- Yesterday the Exmouth, which went out derful and beautiful effects which I have al- to try its Armstrongs, returned by Torre del ready described were again observable. At Greco, and made the circuit of a whirlpool, every shot that was fired by the mountain now formed, which must be about three hunthere rose a cloud of ashes in the form of a dred and sixty feet in diameter. It was boilpine-tree, which filed off to the south as an- ing violently, and emitted a strong sulphurous other shot was fired and another cloud arose. odor. A boat thirty feet in length was let As the heavy-laden clouds escaped beyond down and sent into the centre of the whirlthe

power which had expelled them, and as pool, when it was turned rapidly round by the the aqueous vapor was condensed, we could volcanic force beneath.

The sounding gave see at intervals showers, nay, storms, of twenty-three fathoms of water, and the plumashes falling like avalanches on land and met brought up sand and sulphur.

From a sea, and still the black gorgeous masses part of the circumference a tail, so to call it, rolled on towards Capri, obscuring the coast about sixty feet in width, runs away in the which lies opposite to Naples. Thunder and direction of Sorrento, and is of a beautiful lightning, or the roaring of Vesuvius, and light green color. All the water here was electric lights, were frequent incidents in this tepid, and had a strong sulphurous smell, awful scene; the latter, shot up from the and many fish have been destroyed. The mouth of the crater to the summit of the precise elevation of the soil on which Torre dark cone, played about its involutions, and stands is 1.12 metre, and I may observe that revelled, as it were, in the license of free- the gases which are emitted on land are dom - the daylight could not obscure its stronger than those at sea, so much so that brilliancy. Towards sunset we marked that one man was killed on Wednesday, and seveffect of color which is only to be seen in eral of my friends nearly fainted from pausSouthern latitudes, for then the mass of dark ing near them. It is unnecessary to say that cloud which hung over Vesuvius and the en- the principal element developed is carbonic tire bay was lit up with the most delicate acid gas. On the part of the authorities the roseate tints. Then came on gray eve and greatest energy still continues to be disdarker night, rendered still more so by the played for the relief of the late inhabitants, electric flashes which continued to dance and I must particularly note the devoted above Vesuvius.

sympathy which Torre dell'Annunziata has “ On the next morning I went down to shown towards the poor fugitives, whose Torre again. Alas! it is a city on crutches; number I have not exaggerated. many cripples have fallen, and many are “ The official journal of Naples publishes falling. Professor Palmieri, the great Vesu- the latest report of M. Palmieri, Director of vian authority, confirms the report of the the Observatory of that city, containing an elevation of the soil, and hopes that the account of the decline of the present erupproprietors will not rebuild until the depres- tion up to the 17th. He states that, although sion which may be expected has taken place. Mount Vesuvius has nearly subsided into its Yet, with a fatuity which appears like mad- usual quiet state, yet a quantity of carbonic ness, the people are with difficulty held back acid is still being evolved from the soil of from returning to their perilous dwellings. Torre del Greco, leading to the belief that It is the fact that General Della Marmora has all the crevices opened there communicate been compelled to station soldiers there to with a vast subterranean receptacle of that prevent such folly. From all I can gather, gas, extending far under the sea, where nuthe mountain was split from top to bottom, merous bubbles are seen to arise, and the the fissure reaching far into the sea. In a death of a large number of fish has been refew words I will show this. There are eleven marked in consequence. This time the erupcraters above Torre del Greco, all emitting tion has not been announced by the disapsulphurous vapors, and the largest is from pearance of water from the wells, but, on the seventy to eighty feet deep and one hundred contrary, by the opening of new springs feet wide. From this point on the 8th strongly acidulated with carbonic acid, which inst., after heavy rumblings and heaving of has also tainted the water of several wells, the surface, the ground was split open, and which, at the same time, has risen to a higher level in them. But the most singular phe- but the soil that rises. • It now remains to nomenon mentioned by M. Palmieri is, that be seen,' says M. Palmieri, 'whether this the soil has risen nine-eighths of a metre rising will go down again; and I would, above the level of the sea ; and since this therefore, recommend the landowners of rising has taken place above the old lava of Torre del Greco not to set about rebuilding 1794, the latter has been broken and cracked their houses just yet.' The craters continue in various directions, which has caused the to emit sulphurous hydrochloric acid, and fall of many edifices built upon it. The true also a certain quantity of sulphuretted hycause of the receding of the sea, so often drogen. Among the sublimations may be mentioned by authors, and not credited, as mentioned a large amount of sulphur, the no cause could be assigned for it, is now usual chlorides of iron, and a little specular fully explained ; it is not the sea that recedes, iron ore.”


From The Independent.* men to stick close to facts and the truth. There NEW USES OF PRAYER-MEETINGS. is no such liability in a forensic prayer One

In The Christian Intelligencer of last week is can say what he pleases about brethren, and his given an incident of the Fulton Street Prayer- prayer will not be answered. This is one of the meeting :

difficulties that conscientious persons have alA gentleman said he belonged to the church ways experienced-how to take off a man's of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, and he wanted to head and not let him know it; how to give a present him and his church as a subject of man a deserved thrust without incurring risks ; prayer. He gave some reasons why he made how to table charges against troublesome perthe request.

The response was made by aj sons without having to defend them ; how to set prayer, full of carnestness, by a Presbyterian the Christian Church upon its guard against minister, that the pastor and churclı might ex- men without the imputation of slander. emplify the gospel of Christ in doctrine and The Fulton Street prayer-meeting is not the example, and be made to use their influence in first to employ this not altogether new artillery. saving souls. He prayed that the pastor might We have heard brethren set each other down in preach the preaching to which he had been con- church prayer-meetings in the most edifying secrated, and set apart by the laying on of manner; nor could we conceive of any other hands-knowing nothing in his doctrines and way in which so many disagrecable duties could teachings but Jesus Christ, and him crucified. be so deftly performed, and under such judicious The spirit of the prayer was one of great broth- appearances. We have heard men moved to erly kindness and charity, and yet it was felt confess the sins of the church in such an inspired that there was good reason for earnest supplica- manner as must have made sundry consciences tion that the high position and influence of this tingle. Not only was a quarrel avoided, but the pastor and people might, in the highest sense, exercise seemed blest to the awaking of a like subserve the cause of truth and holiness.” spirit in several whom it concerned, and in this

The pastor of Plymouth Church thanks the way the heavenly auditorium was made the rebrother who introduced this request, and the pository of all tho feuds of the brotherhood. Presbyterian brother who uttered the supplica. This is one advantage which our churches have tions. He would esteem it a favor, if without over the Episcopal. Precomposed and estabprejudice to other persons in like need, the lished forms render it difficult to reach many brethren of this admirable and honored meeting special cases. All that can be done is to emphasize would again and often remember him. How certain words, and to think whom you mean by much better is it to pray for men, than to criti- them. But this is only a limping liberty after all. cise and find fault? If one's fears or suspicions Might we not banish from conversation and of brethren were uttered only in the ears of God, letters and newspapers much personal matter, by would it not promote charity and harmony? removing it into the safer channels of a prayerAnd if by putting the fact in the newspapers, meeting? It is worthy of thought. others shall be incited to add their petitions, we There are many men, besides the pastor of ought to waive the mere matter of taste for the Plymouth Church, who need the kind

sympasake of the greater spiritual advantage. thics of judicious Christians to enable them to

There are some things which can be better “preach the preaching to which they have been done by a prayer-meeting than by a synod. consecrated ;' there are many Christian agents There is a sacred liberty in prayer not accorded of the Church, and committee-men, who need help to documents coldly penned. There are inti- to“ preach the preaching," and do the doings, and mations, and devout fears, and vague suspi- publish the publishings, to which, and not from cions, which, if formally stated to men woulu which, they have been set apart. May they not impose grave responsibilities. And it is a share? Meanwhile, there are added reasons in mercy to have one place where one can say our own case for renewed sympathy. Will not whatever is in his heart without being called to some reader of The Independent, wonted to those account by men, and say it, too, benevolently meetings, explain to the brethren the weight of There is something discursive and uncertain in those duties that rest upon an editor, and ask that a speech. Somebody is apt to answer you. It we may be strengthened? To all our other opens the way to correct mistakes; and obliges onerous duties will now be added the weekly

[* Readers will hear in mind that Mr. Beecher is reading of The Christian Intelligencer. May we Ed. of The Independent and pastor of Plymouth Ch.] 'be wakeful and patient !

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From The Spectator, 28 Dec. | peace secured. The world has never had

such peace as it enjoyed during the reigns of M. THOUVENEL's despatch to the Ameri- the first twelve Cæsars-never had such free can Government will not altogether please trade, such an universal direction of energy those who remember that under the modern towards material progress and mental cultisystem of Europe, every public act consti- vation. The sway of the Flavian House setutes a precedent. It is, of course, primâ cured all for which Manchester sighs, even facie pleasant to find our conduct approved down to direct taxation. But that is not of by a sensitive and exigeant neighbor, and the condition for which Europe is longing, to be sure that we are not blinded by na- or which statesmen ought to desire. Peace tional pride and self-interest. It is also—at would be dearly purchased at the price of least to those who seek the honor of Eng- freedom, nor would free trade be a full comland, and not merely the humiliation of pensation for the diversities of national life, America-satisfactory to feel that an excuse and separate developments of civilization. has been offered which may fairly enable a This objection applies to any such central self-glorious people to submit, without the authority, but the case against any authority sense of having yielded to menace. No Europe could now establish is heavier still. man's pride is offended by yielding to the The reference of all disputes to a congress, voice of a calm bystander, and even the Amer- formal or informal, is really a reference to icans who have been fed upon praise as other the Continent, and moreover to the courts men are fed upon pap, have never asserted of the Continent, and they are not yet fit to their ability to face all Europe combined. be trusted. We have not yet forgotten that The despatch, therefore, is at once soothing the last great Congress formally passed a to England and favorable to ourselves, but resolution which, had it possessed an execuits publication is none the less an unsatis- tive force, would have restricted the liberty factory event. It is one step more, and a of the press, and any congress now collected great one, towards that reference of all na- would undoubtedly show a majority biased tional questions to the decision of Europe in favor of authority and against political which Napoleon so affects, and for which freedom. It is very pleasant, of course, to Europe is by no means yet prepared. The hear that Europe has pronounced in our French Government is always wanting to favor; but suppose the decision had been call a congress to settle somebody's affairs, the other way: is the law of the seas to be and only twelve months ago Earl Russell settled by powers whose first interest is to was compelled to place on record a grave cripple the British marine ? Or, to illusprotest against this tendency as applied to trate the case more clearly ; suppose, as Syria.

may happen still, that the American GovernThis notion of submitting everything to ment endorsed Captain Wilkes in full, and collective Europe is the more dangerous, claimed the right to seize Mason and Slidell because it is the only practical mode of car- simply as political criminals, and that this rying out that notion of arbitration which is demand were referred to “ Europe.” Freebecoming so popular. No court or individ- dom would scarcely have a third of the votes. ual could enforce its award against a first- Austria has always denied the principle of class power on any point which roused the the right of asylum. Prussia has not afpopular passions, and a powerless court tri- firmed it. It is opposed to the object of the bunal is always, sooner or later, a disre- Assassination Bill, which the French colonels garded one. Europe could, if it chose, in urged so violently, and to the fundamental most cases enforce its decrees; and it is for ideas of the Russian monarchy. England, that reason that these incessant appeals Italy, Belgium, and Holland would probably to its vote are so exceedingly dangerous. stand in the conclave opposed to the rest of There is something in the idea of collective Europe, and unable either to resist or to civilization enforcing peace which fascinates obey the decreė. Resistance would be a the imagination, and leads men who are in-breach of international law, while obedience stinctively thirsty for an established order would be prohibited by public feeling, which to forget that peace is not in itself an end. on this particular point is prepared for reIts value depends entirely upon the sort of sistance to any conceivable exertion of force.




of war.

There are many such questions perpetually and has been comparatively useless. When arising, upon which nations with free institu- Prussia and Austria are united they can utter tions, and nations governed either by Divine their joint decision through the Diet, but a right or by Cæsarism, cannot hope to agree, resolution against either of them would and on which any central body must either be practically inoperative. The Germanic give a nugatory vote, or one which, so far States, it is true, remain at peace with each from preventing war, would only extend its other, but their tranquillity arises from

Yet it is to this result that despatches causes of cohesion other than the Dietlike this of M. Thouvenel inevitably tend. from a growing sense of national unity,

and This time the system is employed to uphold a deep-rooted idea of national danger. But a neutral right, but next time it may be di- the Diet will not prevent the King of Prusrected against territorial independence- sia from fighting the King of Denmark, also may, for example, decide that an infraction a German sovereign, nor could it for an hour of the Canadian boundary is not a just cause stay Prussia from contesting by force the

We may then be told that it is not right of Hanover to the heritage of the necessary to obey the European verdict, but Duchy of Brunswick just now in dispute. to justify the assertion we must not attach The Diet has, in fact, done nothing except too much importance to that verdict now. to retard, by the unity which it nominally The friendly opinions received from France enforces, the independent development of and Austria may be acknowledged in the each separate state, two of which, but for same spirit, but as an opposite vote would its interference would by this time be connot have proved us wrong, so the approval stitutional. There can be no better evidoes not prove us to be in the right. dence of the prospects of a European Are

But we may be told by many to whom opagus than the position of this Diet. It peace seems always the dearest of blessings, has all which the wildest dreamer could hope * Although Europe is not yet ready, surely, for the larger institution - popular favor, any step towards an international tribunal executive force, arms, money, and intellect, must be beneficial.” We are by no means yet it can accomplish nothing without the satisfied that under any circumstances any consent of the very powers whose possible such scheme could succeed for important bickerings it was established to prevent. Its questions. So long as each nation is inde-establishment has, it is true, increased the pendent, the decree of a congress is worth- desire for unity, but that is to our minds less unless supported by force, and whence another reason against any imitation. Euis the force to come? The plan is tried in ropean unity means, we fear, the extinction a way already among the Germanic States, I of European life.


Tue BLACKBIRD. When a blackbird once tleman for two years, was adopted by a serious learns a tunc, he never forgets it nor any part of family, where “Polly Hopkins” and all such it. I once knew a bird that could whistle "Polly profanity were sedulously avoided. Whenever Hopkins " with wonderful accuracy. His owner poor “ Joe"-the blackbird's name—attempted sold him, at the same time making the purchaser to strike up the old tune, a cloth was thrown acquainted with the bird's favorite tune. As over his cage, and he was silenced. The family soon as the gentleman got him home, he at once consisted of an old lady and her two daughters, hung up the blackbird, and going to the piano, and every night, at seven o'clock, prayers were struck up “ Polly Hopkins.' The bird's new read, and the “ Evening Hymn ”sung; and Joe, master, however, introduced parts into the tune who was an obedient bird, and anxious to con. that he had never heard before ; so, after lis- form to the habits of the house, speedily learned tening awhile, ho began hissing, futtering his the tune, and regularly whistled it while the old wings, and otherwise signifying his distasto of lady and her daughters sang it. This went on the whole performance. Much surprised, the for six or seven years, when the mother died, and gentleman left off playing, and then the black- the daughters separated, and Joe, now an aged bird opened his throat, and favored his new blackbird, fell into new hands; but to his dying master with his version of " Polly Hopkins,” nor day he never gave up the “ Evening Hymn." would he ever listen with any patience to any Punctually as the clock struck seven he tuned other version. This same blackbird, after stay- up, and went straight through with it with the ing in the service of the above-mentioned gen. I gravity of a parish clerk.-Beeton's Home Pets.

From The Saturday Review. lessening the distance which separates her THE ROMANCE OF A DULL LIFE. *

from Miss Austen, rather than that which This is a novel standing somewhere be- still lies between herself and Miss Bronté. tween those of Miss Austen and those If she must drink of both, let it be in larger of Miss Bronté. It has affinities with each proportions from the still well of Hampshire of the schools which they represent. The than the boiling passionate geyser of the treatment of the central figure is a good West Riding. deal after the manner of the latter author

Of course only one thing can impart roess. Apart from this, there is a great deal mance to a dull life; namely, love. Conof the same descriptive power, the same stance Felton is a young lady who leads a picturesque style which may be found in very secluded life in the country where her Jane Eyre. On the other hand, many of the father owns an estate, but owing to embarminor characters are delineated in a way rassed circumstances, does not mix at all in that reminds us of Miss Austen. They are society. Mr. Basil Hyde, a young man of not mere sketches thrown in by way of con- fortune, is staying, when the story opens, trast, or as foils to the principals, in which in the neighborhood, and makes the aclight too many novelists are apt to regard quaintance of the Feltons. An attachment them. They bear the mark of high finish; springs up between him and Constance. and when they talk or act, it is with a con- The effect which each produces on the other sistency which indicates so many complete is very happily described, and with great conceptions. And, speaking generally, these delicacy of touch. Constance, who is thoughtpages are marked by nice observation of ful and intelligent, but utterly unsophisticharacter, and readiness in seizing on its cated, can only fall down and worship the salient points, as well as by a vein of quiet hero of her dreams. The man of the world, satire, such as that which gives piquancy to on the other hand, is interested and fasciEmma or Pride and Prejudice. We shall nated, but makes his advances nevertheless take occasion, further on, to point out where with extreme caution. After sundry meetit falls immeasurably below the standard of ings at the house of a mutual friend, as well excellence to which we have compared it. as in each other's homes, affairs appear ripBut it is no slight praise to say that in some ening for an eclaircissement, when an unforrespects it approaches that standard. We

tunate occurrence mars all. Constance had cannot refrain from adding a word of ad

agreed to ride home from a picnic party with vice. The Romance of a Dull Life is marked Basil

, who was about to go abroad, and inby freshness and originality, but there are tended to declare himself before leaving. indications of its authoress having not yet This afternoon is the crisis of her life. Her arrived at her full powers. It is interesting, father, anxious for her health, insists on her not only on its own account, but also as

returning from the party in a carriage ; and holding out the promise of something still Basil, not knowing the reason of her apparbetter. If that promise is ever to be real- ently fickle conduct, leaves the neighborized, it will be by a closer study of human hood the next day in dudgeon, without any nature from its objective side, and by check, explanation. Subsequently a report reaches ing the propensity to dive into psychological him that she is engaged to another man ; problems and the complex mechanism of but, as a motive for Mr. Hyde's conduct, motives and feelings. If human nature is this is kept quite in the background. After to be painted in colors that will last, the awhile, he returns from Italy, where he has basis of the portraiture must be something fallen in with a dashing young lady, Miss broader and more solid than the mere sensa- Anne Cartaret, who ultimately succeeds in tional experience of the artist. A novel

catching him; not, however, before he has should reflect life as it appears from the out

met Constance Felton once more, and had side to any intelligent observer--not the full opportunity for removing all misunderidiosynocrasy of one mind, however gifted. standing with regard to their mutual feelIf the authoress of the volume with which ings. But this he is too proud to attempt we are now dealing is wise, she will aim at

doing, conceiving himself to be the injured * The Romance of a Dull Life. By the Author of " Morning Clouds" and "The Afternoon of party, and being blind to the true state of Life." London: Longmans. 1861.

her heart. So he drifts into a marriage with

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